It is quite extraordinary that we residents of a little valley in the mountains of Idaho have had the opportunity to take in shows covering a wide range of subject matter and type (comedy, musical, children's shows, etc.), performed with such a high level of professionalism. We have laughed and cried, learned and listened. Many of those shows have sticking power; we vividly recall the emotion of the song "Let Your Light Shine" from "The Laramie Project." We will never forget this Christmas Eve; it snowed on the stage at the end of "It's a Wonderful Life" and when we stepped outside, Hailey, too, was blanketed in softly falling snow.
It took courage and vision for artists R.L. Rowsey, John Glenn and Denise Simone (as well as founder Rusty Wilson) to leave their big-city theatre lives simply because they wanted to bring us performances of the same caliber. It took tenacity for them to keep the vision alive during the years when some performances only drew a handful of audience members. Thus, it is particularly heartening to see healthy and robust audiences, donors, sponsors and volunteers.
At a recent show, we chatted with an out-of-towner who had never been to a Company of Fools' show before. Visiting from a major metropolitan area, he described the effort it took for him to experience high-quality theatre (heavy traffic, high ticket prices, parking challenges). He shook his head and added, "You don't know how lucky you are."
When John Glenn announced Friday's play, he thanked the audience for letting the Fools do what they love, and in a place they love. I suggest we return the appreciation; thank you to the Fools for doing what you love, in a place we all love, and in a way we all are lucky enough to share.
Leo Stavros and Marcia Mode-Stavros